Protein Pancakes That Don’t Suck

March 01, 2015

Protein Pancakes That Don’t Suck


Protein pancakes are a great breakfast and snack option for those of us trying to get more protein into our diets. Unfortunately, many of the protein pancake recipes out produce results that taste more like cardboard than the traditional fluffy pancake we know and love. This version, though, is light, fluffy, and delicious—and it’s easily customized.

These nutritious little flapjacks use coconut flour, which is high in protein, fiber, and healthy fat. It’s a good source of lauric acid and manganese, and it’s gluten-free!


Coconut flour has an aromatic coconut flavor and subtle sweetness that works extremely well in pancakes. The basic pancake recipe (below) is easy to customize. You can switch out fruits, stir in add-ins, and play around with flavored protein powders—I like to use French vanilla, chocolate fudge, or banana—to find your favorite combinations. 

The trick to making these pancakes successfully is to keep the griddle at a relatively low temperature. These take longer to cook than regular pancakes, and the slow-and-low cooking method ensures that the center cooks and the outsides don't burn. If you’d like to make a big batch all at once, scoop the batter out onto a greased sheet pan, flatten with a spatula, and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.

Make a double batch and freeze them for rushed mornings!

Coconut Flour Banana Protein Pancakes

Yield: 12 four-inch pancakes


  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (I use Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 scoops (about 36 g) vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 11/3 cups egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 large banana)


    1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients and add to dry ingredients, whisking to combine.
    2. Drop by 1/4-cupfuls onto lightly oiled griddle at medium temperature. Cook until bottom is golden brown and dry looking; flip pancakes and cook until finished.
    3. If desired, serve with unsweetened applesauce, real maple syrup, or peanut butter. 


  • Pumpkin: Swap out the mashed banana for pureed pumpkin.
  • Chocolate Chip Pecan: Add ½ cup miniature chocolate chips and ½ cup chopped toasted pecans to basic recipe.
  • Blueberry: Add 1 cup frozen (no need to thaw) or fresh blueberries to basic recipe.
  • Pina Colada: Add ¼ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes and swap the mashed banana for 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple. Replace vanilla extract with rum extract.

Estimated nutritional profile for basic recipe (serving size = 1/4 recipe):

Calories: 204

Total fat: 5 grams

Total carbs: 25 grams (dietary fiber: 12 grams)

Protein: 20 grams

[Nutritional data calculated using]


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